Leicester City will likely need to reach the final of the Europa League to earn the prize money they have missed out in failing to qualify for the Champions League.
After 10 months inside the top four, City slipped to fifth in the final week of the Premier League campaign, and were unable to regain their spot from Manchester United in Sunday’s finale at the King Power Stadium.
City will now compete in the Europa League next season, and the revenue earned is significantly less than in Uefa’s top competition.
Simply qualifying for the Champions League group stage would have bagged City around £14m, and even if they were to endure a disastrous campaign and lose all six fixtures, estimated splits of the coefficient and TV market payments would have taken their earnings to around £25m.
In the Europa League, the base figure for a similarly calamitous run would be around £7.5m.
Success in the competitions is also rewarded differently. Winning six matches in the Europa League group stage earns just over £3m, a figure that would be eclipsed by just one victory and one draw in the Champions League.
Progressing through the knockout rounds to the Europa League final would be rewarded with another £9m, only slightly more than the prize for reaching the round of 16 in the Champions League.
Last season for example, Arsenal received a total of £35.3m for reaching the Europa League final, once the TV money had been divided and added in.
Meanwhile, Monaco, who finished bottom of their Champions League group with one draw and five losses, earned £37.4m.
Knowing how little they are guaranteed to earn from their Europa League participation could impact City’s transfer business this summer.
Brendan Rodgers has said he is confident City are an attractive club to players no matter what, but asked about the differences between a Champions League and a Europa League budget, the manager replied: “I think whichever competition we are in, we have to improve next year, we have to improve the quality and mentality of the squad, and continue our development.
“There are resources when you get to the Champions League which are far greater but for us it has to be sustainable. Where we are as a football club, we have to continue to develop.
“We would love to be getting an £80-90m player or even a £60m player, but that is not how we work here.
“The solution for us will be continual development, looking to improve the quality with the budget we have, the possibilities that we have, and improving players. That is continual regardless of where we’re at.”
The effect of the pandemic and the loss of ticket revenue over recent weeks are also factors to be considered.
Rodgers has previously mentioned that he expects more loan signings across the board in this summer’s transfer window, and he made it clear City will not be operating in the same market as the clubs they have competed with at the top of the table this season.
“The challenges are huge,” Rodgers added. “There’s no doubt the Covid situation will hurt a lot of clubs. We’re not immune to that. The club has been amazing in how they’ve dealt with that, and how they’ve managed the budget, but it’s one of the reasons why I was brought in.
“We understand we can’t compete financially with the clubs above us and then below us too in some aspects. That doesn’t stop us having ambition and having that competitive spirit to try to find a way.
“That’s the challenge that I always said I came here to do: to get the club into the top six. We’ve done that earlier than I thought, but the challenge is to continue.
“That’s going to be about quality, improving the squad, and improving the players that are already here. But the reality for us, some of those teams, it’s out of league really in terms of spend.”